Alright, I have no idea where to start. I am HERE! Using a new keyboard and currently in the Dunaujvaros library.
Wow. Really, do not know where to start.
So we left the MTC, got on the 16 hour plane ride. On the plane I talked to two VERY sweet prepared ladies. The 16 hour flight with F., (who you should be receiving emails from, she wants to stay in contact and tell me all about how the book of mormon reading is going) kissed my face off before I got off the plane. EVERYONE KISSES HERE. I never realized how much of a touchaphobic I am. That is definitely going to change. I shared the Restoration with her, read the Book of Mormon with her and I am pretty sure she wanted me to hook up with her son. It was great. She promised she would read it, and that she never breaks a promise. It was amazing. Then I talked to J., on the ride from London to Hungary. I also talked to her about the Book of Mormon and then she promised to read it as well, I cannot believe stuff like this actually happens. We got off the plane and our mission president was waiting for us, and the first thing he said is he had seen a lady come off the plane with a Book of Mormon and that she said she was going to read it. Cool, huh?
Alright, so we got to the Buda ward building with is 5 stories and is actually very pretty. I didn't have any of my luggage because it had been lost. So I was stuck in the the most disgusting clothes. We had dinner and went to bed. Next morning we got assigned companions and our area. I am in Dunaujvaros. Apparently one of the least attractive and less active cities. That sounds negative, but when I got here I completely understood. So basically Hungary has been occupied by the communists and this city used to be called Stallins City. They have these 10 story apartments that are so sad looking. We live on floor 9. They have gray, insides are just cement, the elevators are metal boxes, the streets are just PAVED with dog feces and gum.( our apartment though is painted orange and a minty green. so random) There is graffiti on EVERYTHING. Hungary has a smell to it, just the smell of smoke and grease and campfire. When I took my first shower here I reeked of it so badly. I am getting used to it though, and I can hardly smell it anymore. Everything is so dusty. I am currently in the process of mom cleaning everything :) I am currently sleeping on an air mattress, it is a cute little blue one.
I know it sounds like I am complaining but I really am not. I am just telling you how it is here. I do not think I can accurately describe the general atmosphere, but it feels like "hopeless". I know that sounds bad, but the people here come off that way to me. Not the members, they are great, but I can hardly stand to tract. Let me explain.
So we have been tracting a lot these first few days, it has been freezing cold outside, so we tract these 10 stories. Most people just close the door or just aren't interested. The old nannies talk to us but do not want lessons. Which is just part of being a missionary but it is the things they say that get me. We tracted to one man a few days ago and I kid you not when he opened the door it was an ABSOLUTE ABSENCE of light. I have never felt anything so hopeless, so strong, so sickening, so overwhelmingly dark. He was smoking and it was dark and he had his pants undone, and just a look that almost made me cry. He actually accepted the Book of Mormon, but I wanted to be out of there SO badly. I do not say that because I had anything against him, the only way I can describe it is he was so deathly sick with sin. Does that make sense. I have not been able to shake the feeling. I have been wondering what God thinks of this, his child who is just so engrossed with sin and just how sorrowful he must be. I have never felt such a sorrow. The Lord let me experience that for a reason though. I think of when Christ rides into Jerusalem and sees all of these people who expect him to save them from the oppressions of the Roman empire, and how he just wept. And now I weep with him. These people who have longed for freedom for so long, whose secret strivings are to find peace and happiness and who wander in darkness. These people who want light but do not know it comes through Christ.
I am not going to lie. This is by far the most difficult week of my life. I have been told to go back to America, I cannot speak this beautiful message I know, I have to live with strangers in a dirty little apartment, I have to miss out on my favorite people, I have not seen the sun since I got here, and worse I have to witness my brothers and sisters just struggle. But I can honestly say I am so grateful to be here. I feel closer to my Savior than ever before because I know how he feels. I cry with him and him with me. And we work together. I almost died yesterday getting up and I said one prayer. Just one. And my heart swelled to an unimaginable size. I love him. I cannot wait to see him. I AM SO HAPPY TO BE HERE.
So I know that was a lot. Just know, I am well. I am doing better than I ever have before, and it is because of Christ.
The First day here we went to Lunch with an old gentlemen they call J. B. and would you like to know what we ate? Slices of what I can only describe as cold bacon about half an inch thick with a fat ring around it that is an inch thick. And you have to eat all of it. You butter up the bread with the fat and then eat boiled eggs with it. A well balanced diet, I would say. I had that yesterday for Easter. Except this time they only cooked half of the meat. HAHAHA. Raw pork chops, anyone? And it was breakfast.
They do not really have breakfast foods, just REALLY heavy greasy bacon slabs, all day every day. Which are actually not too bad....except terribly unhealthy. So we got to this house and the kid comes out with this ferret and he is just throwing this thing around, and it smells so terrible. They call him stinky Tobbi. How appropriate. Nice ferret though.
On Easter ( some man thought up this holiday, because it is so ridiculous) They spray all the women with water as a sign of affection and then the woman has to give them candy. Yeah, such a guy holiday. So we came in and their mom walked in and they just soaked her with these spray bottles....I think we should do this next Easter when we are all together? It was so.....bizarre. They say that we are flowers blooming in spring and so before they spray you they recite a cute little poem. I cannot imagine anything more adorable. ( By the way very superstitious people, you must wear shoes all the time or you will get a cold an die) Anyways,
So we set out the lovely bacon and bread and they just use their hands and already used silverware to dish up. I have never seen anything like it. The Father saw my companion not eating the fat and just popped it off her plate onto his. So we get done eating and this kid A., alright not even a kid (23 year old still living with mom and dad) comes out with a super soaker which we unfortunately did not recognize as such and soaks us. at the dinner table. over all the food. just soaks us. in freezing cold weather. soaks us. To say the least, I was definitely not going to give him candy....It was insane. So the kids here live with their parents for FOREVER. It is just so different.
What else....oh we are meeting with an older lady named K. mama. She is the cutest stinking thing. She is trying to give us smoking, and she had a bap date but she is trying to quit so hopefully it works out for her.
I gave my first talk in church. 17 people, including us missionaries. Apparently a while back they had a huge apostasy. 250 MEMBERS LEFT. The reason was because the branch president got offended and left. He did so much for the church too. He translated part of the Book of Mormon, he met with the apostles, he traveled for the church, just a big guy and now inactive. One offense. We are currently teaching him, and he knows it is all true and just will not come back, said he would never step foot in the building again. Crazy. And you know what? That is how it is with so many people here. I was reading the area book and it is the same thing over, and over, and over again. offended. offended. offended. The problem is that they are all so blunt and just cannot stand each other. It is the weirdest thing, these people do not like people. I mean have a literal phobia of people. So now the ward is tiny. So important to endure to the end, so important.
The bakeries are fantastic. Though, I am trying to eat really healthy to balance out all of the meals where I eat multiple servings of plain fat. We work out with the Elders in the mornings to p90x so hopefully I can stay healthy.
Oh yeah. And we have tracted into so many people without clothes on. It is not even funny.
So when you tract later at night you have to constantly press a button that lights up the halls and so we get to this door and we stand there for a second and this man comes out not wearing...much and just looking so much like Tarzan ( not in an attractive way) at this point my eyeballs have just exploded and I was just caught so off guard and then the light conveniently goes out after we all just stare awkwardly at each other. I almost died laughing. But it was so weird. Alright, I just read that and it did not sound funny...but it was. I promise.
I cannot even describe the way I feel about you as an example. It is so hard to just get out of this cozy little shell I have created. This work is so important and it helps so much to have members come. Tell Adrienne to volunteer too and anyone else. It just really helps us missionaries. Gah. I love you. So wonderful. I have been thinking so much of the blessings you and dad have been given because of this gospel and I just want to share it with everyone here.
Dad, I do not know why but I have your white hand book, and I treasure it because you wrote in it. I do not know why, I just do. Miss you :)
I need to go now, looks like there is a storm outside and we have lessons today. I have absolutely no comforts here. Nothing is normal, or homey but I am SO happy to be here. I am learning who the real comfort comes from though. I am so glad he is taking care of all of you too. I love you all with all of my heart.